The Veterans Support Organization has been banned in South Carolina for 15 years, said S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond.
Hammond said Tuesday his office reached a settlment iwth the VSO, where the charity agreed to pay a $5,000 administrative fine. Additionally the organization, which had been active in South Carolina since 2011, is banned from soliciting in the state for 15 years.
The VSO did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlment. Hammond alleged the charity failed to register employees as professional solictors as required under the Solictiation of Charitable Funds Act and said the VSO misrepresented the percentage of money spent on charitable programs.
According to the last financial report filed with the Secretary of State, most of the money the VSO spends on its charitable programs is used to pay “jobless veterans and other needy Americans” to solicit contributions for the organization. Although VSO employees are not necessarily veterans, they typically wear military-style uniforms when soliciting in front of popular retail establishments or on the street.
If anyone sees the VSO soliciting in South Carolina call (803) 734-2170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see what charities are registered to solicit in the state visit www.scsos.com and click on “Charity Search.”
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.